Angus MacLaurin, Ribbon Effect | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Angus MacLaurin, Ribbon Effect

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ANGUS MACLAURIN, RIBBON EFFECT

On his recent album, Glass Music (Bubble Core), Angus Maclaurin constructs spooky ambient music using tuned glasses and a mess of reel-to-reel tape machines. Make no mistake: he may be touring the indie-rock circuit, but he's no goofy hipster rubbing out "Jingle Bells" on a wine goblet. Maclaurin is a piano tuner, pipe organ builder, and music teacher who lives in Portland, Maine, and the range of sounds and textures he gets from glass is astonishing, from percussive, chiming melodies to icy, ominous drones. To make the album he recorded himself playing the glasses to five separate tape machines, then improvised nine mixes using various parts of each one; he'll do something similar here. The members of Ribbon Effect--Bill Talsma, Jacob Ross, and Danielle Malkoff--met while working at Experimental Sound Studio, which focuses on the broader field of sound art, but while the trio's recent debut album, Slip (Roomtone), was obviously recorded with a heightened sensitivity to spatial relationships, it definitely qualifies as music in the conventional sense. The trio's sumptuous melange of electronics and guitars isn't the most original formula--its serpentine bass-driven melodies and dubby effects reveal the influence of other local groups like Tortoise and Pan-American--but it is undeniably beautiful. For this performance Ribbon Effect's music will be accompanied by an experimental multiscreen video projection by Joel Ross. Saturday, December 9, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

PETER MARGASAK

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